The word eminence is often used interchangeably with fame, greatness, or genius, but each term has different connotations. Fame does not imply merit or praiseworthiness; individuals such as Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden are unquestionably famous. Fame can be assessed with content analyses of biographies, newspapers, reference works, or electronic media or with public opinion surveys. Greatness or genius imply merit and are often assessed by panels of historians or specialists in specific fields of accomplishment. Research on eminence includes the villainous and iniquitous along with the geniuses and the meritorious, partly because these judgments are subjective. This entry describes studies of eminent people, characteristics of eminent people, identified eminent people, and predictors of eminence.


Historiometric studies of eminent people use large quantitative data sets ...

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